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Thinking Strategically About Your Small Business Marketing

Thinking Strategically About Your Small Business Marketing

By bridgetwpollack, Guest Blogger
Published: March 5, 2015

Ask many experts what the key to small business success is and they’ll say, “acting strategically.” That means not only planning ahead but also reacting to situations and making decisions that drive your business forward in the right direction. Today we’re sharing resources for how to think specifically about your marketing initiatives in a smart, strategic way.

Market strategy

Right from the get-go, it’s important to bring your business to market in a space that makes sense and as a stronger player against your competitors. In the new online workshop, “Creating a Competitive Advantage,” we learn that a competitive advantage “is the reason why customers come to you in the first place…and why they keep coming back for more.” Identifying and honing a solid competitive advantage is such an important component to creating a lasting business model that will stand the test of time. This workshop teaches small business owners how to:

  • Identify your company's competitive advantage
  • Determine your strengths, weaknesses and goals
  • Devise a strategy to set your company apart from your competitors

Pricing strategy

Once you’ve determined a business model that will compete successfully in your market space, pricing will be a critical component of not only executing your strategy, but also communicating it to your customers. Bob Goedjen, a mentor with Silicon Valley SCORE, offers his expertise on factors to consider when pricing your products: “the state of the economy, your competitors’ pricing and the needs of your target market” to name a few. Bob also provides a few basic rules to follow when setting prices:

  1. Base your price on value, not cost.
  2. Research the competition rigorously and price your product or service higher than the competition.
  3. Plan to provide room for discounts from your established price in order to give prospective customers the added incentive to place the order.
  4. Provide your quotations for service type business based on your hourly rate.
  5. Continue to track your competition, not only for pricing, but also for the features they provide with the product or service that customers value.

Read along as Bob dives deeper into each of these tips and how you can effectively price your products or services.

Mobile strategy

Our next strategic marketing decision involves reaching customers where they are and how they want to be reached. Surveys now show how incredibly important it is to serve customers effectively via their mobile devices. Did you know that 50% of customers use their smartphone to make buying decisions on the way to the store, 60% use their smartphone in the store and 39% of walkouts are influenced by their smartphones? Check out this month’s SCORE Infographic, “Mobile Marketing: Tips to Put Customers in the Palm of Your Hand” for the full picture of how mobile consumption is affecting buying patterns. The infographic also offers tips your business can use to benefit most from these trends including why it’s important to capitalize on local search terms and why mobile-friendly ad and email designs are so vital.

Mobile Marketing

It is critical to think about your business from a strategic mindset every step of the way – from planning to implementation to communication. We hear from small business owners that often they are so caught up in the day-to-day “weeds” of running their business that it’s hard to step outside of that mentality and see the bigger overall picture of their enterprise. In times like these, seek the perspective of an outsider like a SCORE mentor who can offer objective insight into developing a strategy to achieve your goals. Connect with a SCORE mentor for free today.

About the Author:

Bridget Weston Pollack

Guest Blogger

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the SCORE Association. She is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR, and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and trainings services. She collaborates with SCORE volunteers and develops SCORE’s online marketing strategy.